Texas One of Nationwide Leaders in Health Care Enrollment

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According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Texas is one of the leaders in the nation in terms of health care enrollment. Roughly 118,577 applications for health insurance have been submitted so far, representing 244,695 Texans.

Of the Texas applicants, 14,000 have selected plans so far, representing the final step in the enrollment process. Another 16,767 were determined eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. (Medicaid eligibility numbers would of course be much higher if Texas expanded Medicaid. California and New York, for instance, had over 182,000 and 50,000 newly eligible Medicaid enrollees, respectively.) Tens of thousands of Texans are still in the process of enrolling.

But there are still six million uninsured Texans who have until December 23 to log on to HealthCare.gov and enroll.

There's more after the jump.Both in Texas and nationwide, the enrollment totals are still behind schedule, but show signs of significant strides in the right direction. And State Rep. Mike Villareal (D – San Antonio) reminds us that that the good news is just the beginning: “With six million Texans uninsured, this is an opportunity to make sure more of our neighbors are healthy and financially stable.”

There are also still many factors working against Texans seeking healthcare. The Texas Organizing Project says, “TOP is proud that Texas has the highest enrollment numbers, despite Rick Perry's and Greg Abbott's best efforts to sabotage health care reform at every turn… Unfortunately, it also means Perry and Abbott will try harder to create new ways to prevent people from signing up through unnecessary regulations on navigators.”

While other states that have taken advantage of more of the Affordable Care Act's features – like California, New York and Washington – are still outpacing Texas, the fact that Texas has such vast numbers of uninsured means it still stands to gain tremendously. And after decades of anti-health care policy in Texas, the bottom line is that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay, and is making insurance available to millions of Texans.

Read All “12 Days of Enroll-mas” posts here.

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About Author

Emily Cadik

Emily is a Texas ex-pat and proud Longhorn living in Washington, DC, where she remains connected to the Lone Star State through her work on BOR and her enthusiasm for breakfast tacos. She works on affordable housing policy, and writes about health care, poverty and other social justice issues.

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